Grain Foods Campaign Leverages Influencers for National Impact

Our client Grain Foods Foundation (GFF) ultimately wants to reach consumers with their message that grains are an important, nutritious part of our diet, especially as we age. In marketing today, if we can effectively connect with “Influencers” in a particular industry, our message will in turn reach consumers. Influencers are individuals who have the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because they have built credibility and access to a large audience of fans or followers. A well-executed Influencer campaign can reach consumers far more cost-effectively than traditional mass advertising or public relations campaigns.

For GFF’s “Healthy Aging” campaign, we first partnered with our friends at The Ginger Network since they have strong relationships with the nation’s top food and nutrition communicators. We crafted a combination of direct influencer outreach, public relations and paid sponsorships, all centered around Healthy Aging month in September. We fueled the effort by transforming GFF’s scientific research into bite-size, engaging graphics and messaging that Influencers could easily apply to their own communications. Here’s how it worked:

  1. Toolkit: We created a microsite at LongLiveGrains.org that made all of our tools easily available to both GFF members and nutrition communicators: fact sheets, FAQs, blog posts, infographics, healthy recipes and sample social media posts.
  2. Press releases: To reach both consumer and industry media, we distributed press releases over PR Newswire and to EurekAlert!, a global newswire specifically for research. In addition to release pickups, we earned over a dozen original, international articles written on GFF’s research, boosting our potential audience to over 225 million.
  3. Partnerships: Cyphers collaborated with two external partners:
    • The International Council on Active Aging to produce a series of blog posts authored by GFF’s Scientific Advisory Board members. ICAA’s blog reaches more than 50,000 members of the Council.The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    • Healthy Aging Dietetic Practice Group to promote a series of sponsored e-blasts and a webinar to their 1,600+ membership. The GFF materials earned a higher-than-average open rate and webinar self-study completion rate.
  4. Outreach: We reached out to 100 of the top nutrition communicators and promoted GFF resources to share across their channels. An impressive 50% used the GFF materials, messaging and #grainsforhealthyaging campaign hashtag.
  5. Briefings: At the 2017 Food Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), we arranged breakout briefings with registered dietitians and other nutrition communicators in attendance to discuss GFF’s latest sandwich study. Briefing participants were very receptive to our messaging – it’s what’s between the bread, not the bread itself, that are the leading contributors of calories, fat and sodium. As an added flourish, we provided delicious sandwiches to help our message sink in.

Here’s a video recap of the campaign’s goals, outreach and success:

We’re looking forward to continuing our healthy aging efforts in 2018, in addition to the upcoming research in GFF’s pipeline. We wish we could tell you the details, but we must keep it to a knead-to-know basis.

You’d go there too if your mind was swirling with sandwich infographics.

Now make us proud—go forth and enjoy grain foods!

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